You’ve probably heard of the famous and super-secret Google algorithm but did you know Facebook has it’s own secret algorithm too? Known as ‘EdgeRank’, the Facebook algorithm determines what is (and isn’t) displayed on each person’s Facebook newsfeed.
Needless to say, as business owners and social media marketers, understanding Facebook EdgeRank is crucial. You want to make sure your content is seen by your Facebook “likers” so you need to make sure you’re playing by EdgeRank’s rules.
What Does Facebook EdgeRank Do?
Every action that takes place within Facebook (a status update, a check-in, a new photo etc) is an ‘edge’. The algorithm evaluates every edge on Facebook and assigns each a rank – hence the name, EdgeRank. The rank your posts receive depends on their importance to the Facebook user and the algorithm is made up of 3 factors – Affinity, Weight and Time Decay.
This name wasn’t coined by Facebook but is one that developed within the community over time. In an interview with Inc.com, Facebook software engineer Phil Zigoris,
“We don’t have a product or system called EdgeRank. The news feed algorithm takes many factors into account when it’s deciding what to show, including how often two people interact, how many people have liked, commented on, or shared a story, and the type of content that is being shown.”
Whatever the name, the algorithm is at work and as page owners we need to strategise our Facebook content so we are putting the EdgeRank to work for our pages.
How Can I Get EdgeRank To Work To My Advantage?
Posting good content is the golden rule for Facebook success and here are some tactics to get that content seen more.
Time Decay is an important factor for Facebook EdgeRank. Fresh and new content have more of an “edge” on Facebook. The older your content is, the less valuable it is. So it’s important that you post content on your page consistently to get it seen. Newer content will appear higher in the newsfeed and is more likely to invite engagement from your audience.
Different Types of Content
All edges have a certain Weight assigned to them on Facebook and the weight of your post is determined by how many likes, comments and shares it receives. As commenting is more involved, it weighs more whereas a like weighs less. However it all adds up to contribute to the weight of your post so it’s important that you post engaging content.
Some types of content get more engagement than others but you will never know what works unless you start posting it. Mix up your content schedule with text, photos, videos, questions and more. Different people prefer different types of content so this will help you to engage everyone.
Facebook’s ‘Promoted Posts’ feature is a good way to kickstart some engagement on your Facebook page. Promoted posts are a paid feature for Facebook page owners to get their content seen by more of their followers. The more people that see your content, the more likes and comments you are likely to attract to it.
The Affinity part of your posts’ EdgeRank is determined by the relationship your brand has with the user. This means, if someone likes, comments and share your content more, they have more of an affinity with you and will see your content even more.
Facebook Insights are a great source of information on what is working for your Facebook page and what’s not. Check your data often to tweak your content and keep measuring till you find a successful formula.
Don’t let EdgeRank overwhelm you. Remember that interesting and useful content goes a long way towards inviting engagement and more engagement means a better EdgeRank for your posts.